Jobo Designs

Letting the crafty creative juices flow. Knitting, spinning, crafting, dyeing, rabbits, sheep and more!

13. April 2011 16:05
by Jobo
1 Comments

BFL Sample... tons of fun in every one!

13. April 2011 16:05 by Jobo | 1 Comments

I recently subscribed to a Fiber Club with All for love of yarn  and part of the lovely package (which you will see as soon as I manage to take decent photographs of it!) was a little 0.5 ounce sample of Blue and Purple BFL Top.  I've worked with BFL before, and have enjoyed it, so I was excited to play with it and see what I could do with it for the Spin-Along.  There is a prize for the most creative use of the fiber, so I couldn't miss out on that!

Blue BFL Sample with card

Here is the sample - just a little chunk of fiber really.  Since I have been working on my thin spinning... and BFL would lend itself to a nice shiny lace-weight... and the thinner you spin you get more yardage... I decided that I should try spinning up a very fine lace from this and perhaps use it as my yarn to swatch for a Mini-Haapsalu Shawl.

I have been fascinated with Estonian lace since receiving the Haapsalu Shawl book a few months ago, and I've been just itching to make an authentic one, with the proper dimensions and traditional lace motifs.  One thing that has kind of irked me though, is the fact that traditionally the lace borders are knit separately and then sewn on.  And you thought sewing a sweater together sounded like fun?  How about sewing on several meters of lace edging?  I know I am capable (at least I really really hope I am) but I wanted a trial run to make sure.

April 11 2011 101

So I spun a nice cop of teensy singles on my little Golding Dragonfly (which weighs 0.7 ounces, so nice and light) and used andean plying to fold the single in half.  I managed to get 150 yards out of the 15 g sample, which I was pretty proud of in the end!  The finished lace-weight is light, strong, shiny, and quite smooth.  I'm sure it will fuzz up a little more over time, but in the beginning it was quite tight and ordered.

Blue BFL Sample Singles

Here are the Singles again... with a penny for comparison of size.  I always seem to forget to do WPI measurements of the singles.  For that matter, I tend to forget to measure WPI for anything really.  Woops.

Blue BFL Sample Skein  

I set out right away to work on my lace sample - I chose a simple leaf-lace for the center of the sample-shawl, and one of the simplest borders to try and sew on.  The Haapsalu Shawl book shows lots of examples, and the beginning sections of the book explain all of the calculations to know how many stitches you will need.  It isn't a "pattern"  book in the strictest sense of the word, but everything you need is there to come up with a shawl on your own.

Blue BFL Sample lace center

Here is my Leaf Lace center panel blocking (Yes, it is pinned out on a Sham-wow... why do you ask?)  and waiting for me to get my act together and make the lace edges.  I've done the math, and planned things out, so now I just have to get started.  I do have the first border cast on already...  170 stitches for each half, that's 340 stitches of casting on, and then casting back off.... for only a sample shawl.  The real deal will have more like 600 - 700 stitches for those border edges.  Eek!

Blue BFL Sample lace leaves

And here is a closeup of the pretty Leaves... just because the fine Handspun looks so goooood.  Despite being Blue layered on the most hideous, offensive orange known to man.  So far so good :)

7. April 2010 16:00
by Jobo
7 Comments

Handspun Socks on Tilt: Diagonal Lace

7. April 2010 16:00 by Jobo | 7 Comments

 diagonal pose

What a fun Knit! 

I finished the last bit of twisted ribbing on my Diagonal Lace socks (free pattern made available by the designer Wendy Johnson!  Awesome!)

This was my 4th pair of handspun socks... and I was really impressed with myself that the yarn was fine enough to knit the pattern as written, without having to make any serious modifications. 

I used the "small" version of this pattern, and things worked out perfect for my size 8 feet.  Normally I would do the medium or large, so it felt like these just flew off the needles at 64 stitches to the round.  (especially after the last pair which was 72 stitches around)  I used size 2.75 mm DPNs.

The pattern itself was very tidy and well written, as are all of Wendy's patterns that I've tried to date.  The repeating diagonal line of eyelets was very intuitive and straightforward to follow.  This was a great "car" knitting pattern, and I plan to knit another pair soon!

 

Trying to use up as much of this cotton candy sweet yarn as possible, I worked on both socks at the same time, by switching back and forth.  I think these are the tallest socks I've made to date... they seem to swallow my sock blockers!  In the end, I think could have knit another whole lace repeat before starting the twisted rib, but I was afraid to run out.  I ended up with two very small balls of yarn, maybe enough for a pair of newborn socks... very small ones.

diagonal leftover yarn I know that some people like their socks to be identical...  I'm not sure why, but I really like the idea of Fraternal Socks! 

As a teenager (and still on the weekends when I don't have to look "professional") I used to wear mismatched socks.  As long as the color scheme matched, it didn't matter to me if one sock was striped and the other was flowery. 

These socks obviously come from the same ball of yarn, but are not identical.  Yet another reason to Love hand spun yarns ;)

<--- Check out those squishy Slip-Stitch Heels?

 

 

I hope you don't mind the shameless photo montage that follows... I'm really pleased with these, and I couldn't wait to show them off to the world!

diagonal toes modified color

diagonal in between modified color diagonal stockinette diagonal curlique modified color

diagonal lace and leftovers

diagonal on

diagonal pair

I decided this was as good a time as any... to try a new Stretch Bind-off for these socks.  Because they come up so high, I knew it would be important for the cuffs to be comfortable around my calves.  After a quick internet search for suitable techniques, I chose to do Elizabeth Zimmermann's sewn bind-off.

The finished cast off doesn't actually feel all that stretchy, but fits okay.  I think I still prefer the typical bind off for triangle shawls that I usually do (K2, slip 1 stitch back to left needle, and k2tog through back loop) since it looks more polished.  The sewn edge looks a bit sloppy but that's likely due to the inexperience of the seamstress ;)  I'll have to try it again a few times before I master it probably.

 

Happy Knitting :)

8. March 2010 11:15
by Jobo
6 Comments

Yarn Candy Monday: Caterpillars...

8. March 2010 11:15 by Jobo | 6 Comments

ok...  The title seems random...  But the color of this yarn reminds me of Caterpillars!  Greens, Greys, Black, and a hint of Rust here and there.  When we were little we used to see lots of fuzzy little many-legged creatures in the back yard while playing outside :)

Caterpillar2

This is only the first little skein in what will be a 4 skein series...  at approximately 160 yards of fingering weight, navajo 3-ply.  I am tempted to jump in and start knitting this guy up, but alas, I should probably keep on spinning before I do too much more scheming. 

The fiber here is some Hand Dyed Polwarth, in 4 ounce bags, from London-Wul over in Moncton.  I have 2 bags... so 8 ounces total.

I was drawn to the colors immediately but when I dug into the bag,  I found that there isn't really any kind of shade distribution in the roving.  Really, it's just random splashes of color - which I don't mind - but there are long sections that are only lime green, and others that are only black and really dark colors.  It would have been nice to have a more predictable variance maybe.  There were also a few felted bits from the dyeing process.  Overall I am pleased with the fiber, and the finished yarn is delectable... but I think I will ask to open up the bag and examine the roving next time I buy this product, just to get an idea of the dyeing pattern before I take it home.

Caterpillar

I'll post some more pics when the rest of the pile has been converted from Fluff to yarn :)

Powered by BlogEngine.NET | Theme: Yoko by Elmastudio, adapted by onesoft

Top